The renown of José María Gironella (hee-roh-NEH-yah) springs from the series of panoramic novels that depict the Spanish Civil War, although the author published in a variety of literary forms. His first work in print was poetry (Ha llegado el invierno y tú no estás aquí, 1945), but he quickly abandoned the genre in favor of the novel. Los fantasmas de mi cerebro (1959; Phantoms and Fugitives: Journeys to the Improbable, 1964; includes translation of Todos somos fugitivos) is the documentation in a series of essays of a nervous breakdown. A partial collection of Gironella’s short stories appears in Phantoms and Fugitives.
Gironella also produced travel books—Personas, ideas, y mares (1963; persons, ideas, and seas), El Japón y su duende (1964; Japan and her ghosts), and En Asia se muere bajo las estrellas (1968; in Asia you die under the stars)—along with essays that outline his personal vision in a wide variety of subjects, newspaper articles, literary analyses, criticism, biographical accounts, interviews, and meditations. China, lágrima innumerable (1965; China, countless tears) is an expanded essay accompanied by photographs. Gritos del mar (1967; shouts from the sea) collects in one volume various articles previously published in periodicals.